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Boochani’s ‘No Friend But the Mountains’ to be adapted for film

Behrouz Boochani’s book No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (trans by Omid Tofighian, Picador) will be adapted as a feature film.

The feature will be primarily shot in Australia, with production set to commence in mid-2021. Australian production companies Sweetshop & Green, Aurora Films and Hoodlum Entertainment will partner on the development and production of the film, with writer Ákos Armont to co-produce the feature alongside Antony Waddington from Aurora Films.

Waddington said: ‘Mountains is a defining tale for our time: not just of Australia, but how the world deals with refugees. Funny at times, it’s overwhelmingly a story of triumph over despair.’

Sweetshop & Green managing director Gal Greenspan said, ‘Behrouz’s story is highly important and deeply moving. It is our goal to produce the film as an international co-production and share it with as many people around the world as possible.’

Boochani told Guardian Australia: ‘The most important thing is that we should share this story, and this story is not just my story. What the Australian government has done, in Manus and Nauru and still continues this policy—we should share this story in different languages—and cinema is a very important and powerful language.

‘It is a powerful platform, it is a language for everyone. I think more people will engage with this story, and we can take this story more internationally. That is very important.’

Boochani is currently living in New Zealand after spending six years in immigration detention, during which time he wrote No Friend But the Mountains in Farsi via WhatsApp messages. Boochani’s book won a number of awards while he was still in detention: the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature in 2019, a special award in the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, the Australian Book Industry Award (ABIA) for General nonfiction book of the year and the National Biography Award. International rights to the book have now sold to 19 countries.


Category: Local news